One of the main objectives of democracy is to safeguard the interests of the people that form the society.
- The problem is when people don’t realize what is in their own interest.
- The problem is when their long term interests conflict with those that are short term.
- The problem is when minorities end up loosing out, irrespective of whether they are right or wrong.
- The problem is when people’s interests are artificially manipulated to suit the agenda of the powerhouses of the society.
- The problem is when people have no idea whether their true interests are being served or not…
The lack of transparency results in faulty and misguided assumptions. Voters intelligence is key for a successful democracy. Although the press and media in general is doing a good job in covering many aspects of politics, they are not doing enough to measure the performance of the public services in order to establish their good or not so good work. Voters need to understand their real interests and should start looking at metrics that influence and affect them the most, and decide their voting preferences.
On a macro level, most of the information is available, but is of less use, until we drill it down to the micro level. The country’s rate of literacy or GDP growth is meaningless, until we know the same metrics on a region level, until we understand whether it is improving or degrading, and until we can relate the results with the possible causes and attribute them to the people who are associated with those causes.
A public affairs performance management system should not only measure the results, but also reward the people that have been responsible for all the good work, something that NITI aayog aims to implement in their new data analytics platform.